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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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>You are a young man named Lloyd from the frozen Northern mountains of Tordo, on the continent of Teege. After a youth spent learning magic, you and your girlfriend spent some time as bandits after your home was destroyed, but have recently taken a chance to escape that life into a legit one... As sellswords, admittedly, but it's better than nothing. When the situation calls for it, however, you might take on the POV of a character somewhere else for a thread.

>Your exact goal will change from thread to thread, most likely involving some job or another you've been sent on.

>The questmasters are Octoling (myself), and Grandflaw. There's no particular rhyme or reason to who posts when, and sometimes one of us might not appear all.

>Character Death is always a possibility and sometimes an inevitability (this is Fire Emblem after all), but your actions can very easily influence who lives and who dies.

>Voting periods will last an average of ten to fifteen minutes, but this may be increased, decreased, or generally changed at any given moment based on voter turnout.

>The previous threads are archived on suptg. A link to the most recent (coupled with summary and a handy list of names) is pasted http://pastebin.com/F71tvk1v

>Our update twitter is https://twitter.com/qmgrandflocto and you can shoot us questions at http://ask.fm/qmgrandflocto

>An up-to-date link to all threads currently archived, both for this quest and its precursor: http://pastebin.com/Q77ts75m
You hurry into the mostly-underground temple after slaying Mahavira, securing the first (and only-aboveground) floor as mentioned.

This pretty much amounts to challenging the doorperson, a Wampyr with a lot more to lose than she seems to realize. "You fools think you can challenge us?! These dark catacombs will be your undoing, hunted by us elite and essence-thirsty!"

"Catacombs?" Wes asks. "I thought this was a temple..."

"Oh, but it is! Quite catacomb of a temple it is, however!" The wamypr responds.

"Well, it's the outside full of corpses," Jorden quips, "though the inside will soon fit the bill if you don't just back down now!"

"Wait, is a... Catacomb not a. Really hard-to-navigate area?"

"Labyrinths," Irene responds.

"Ah... Then be struck down at the start of this labyrinth!"

The Wampyr leaps forward dramatically... And is immediately roasted by a transforming Jorden, who promptly bumps his head on the ceiling, reverting and rubbing it. "Shit... Could've used a navigator, couldn't we have? Irene, you know much?"

"Esmer... Never mentioned a labyrinth," Irene responds. "Just that this place was four stories..."

>A. Then this just became more complicated
>B. The wampyr was probably exaggerating
>C. She was probably just a dumbass
>D. Write-in response
>E. No response
>A. Then this just became more complicated
"That... Complicates things, then."

"It... Makes sense, though," Irene says, "this place guarded the secrets to creating deadlords, so if it's a glorified maze, it can keep out intruders."

"You mean like it kept out Lars and Alexia?" Jorden asks sarcastically.

"Given that there were only two of them, Neir royalty at the time and all, it's hardly unbelievable that they could have spent enough time in or around this place to solve its alleged maze," Yvette responds, oldishly adding, "so watch your mouth, 'ageless dragon!'"

"Er, yes, Lady Yvette," Jorden responds with uncharacteristic intimidation before sighing.

"This is all an excuse for us to split up, isn't it?" Yancy says.

"Hey, there's no reason to think we have to..." Yulea says. "We'll be able to cover all of the ground necessary as one, I'm sure!"

You've barely entered the second floor down when the path starts winding every which way.

"And with Wampyr and mages, all better acquainted with this place's layout... Alright, everyone, groups of four, then... Just in case we're followed, five of you wait up on the first floor." Shea says.

So... There's a chance the different groups will meet up at different branches of the path, but for now the party is quite split.

You could, in theory, just be part of the waiting/entrance-guarding, but who needs that? So who will you end up going with?

>A. Pick up to three allies (specify up to that many, you can leave some blank if you only care about one or two)
>B. Take the "obvious" choice (Leigh/Wes/whoever else)
>C. Write-in response
>B. Take the "obvious" choice (Leigh/Wes/whoever else)
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Irene, naturally, gets to lead a subgroup, selecting you, Leigh, and Wes to accompany her.

The other group leaders (and groups) are, if it matters at all, Shea (Yvette, Jolie, Ansi), Cargia (Asra, Jorden, Bolse), Riga (Demeter, Phineas, Gonzo), Une (Sheena, Yancy, Yulea), Romulus (Lyeim, Rema, Colleen), and leading the group waiting is Welles (with Calof, Tobias, Tomnus, and Kneil).

"Alright," Irene says, "all of you be on your guard. Wampyr are fast and our enemy is better-acquainted with... Bah, I'm just reiterating at this point."

As your groups are split down various branches in the second floor's path to the aforementioned quartets, you add, suddenly remembering the chameleon, "and... Ymira might be taking on any form, so be aware of her as well."

"Right, of course... Any random foe we find might be more than they appear to be."

"Should... I be worried about this person?" Wes asks, still comparatively out of the loop.

>A. Only if he sucks
>B. Not if we can identify her
>C. She could be a tough obstacle
>D. Write-in response
>E. Let someone else say
>B. Not if we can identify her
"Not if we can identify her," you respond. "Easier said than done, sure, but her main threat is just in inspiring paranoia."

"Phew," Wes says, "glad we're all above that..."

Leigh nods. "There's only one of her, and pretty much everyone here's been accounted for since well before she disappeared. Worst we'd have to worry about is her being someone's body double, I figure."

"Wait, so... maybe Paula wasn't here to begin with," Wes speculates. "What if none of her actions were... Her, to begin with?"

Leigh's eyes widen. "Then, with how elusive Paula's been... Could she just not be herself?"

Irene shakes her head. "Interesting theory, but... I don't think Esmer would've been duped. I can't really say we have much evidence either way, but we'll find out from the princess herself soon enough."

You're about to say your two cents on things when Leigh holds up a hand. "Wait. I heard something."

Mere moments after she says that, crawling up the stairs (also, hey, you guess you've found stairs to the next floor down!) come two pale-looking fellows, one of whom immediately does an elaborate frontflip upon reaching the top, sticking the landing. Shortly after them come three swordmasters.

The less bombastic stands straight, cracks his neck, and folds his arms, saying, "there's no point in conversing. This is where you fall."

The other guy is leaping all over the damn place as the swordmasters each down a Pure Water. Figure that should be enough for them to each survive two or three magical strikes apiece.

>A. Immediately attack the still Wampyr
>B. Immediately attack the boisterous Wampyr
>C. Say something (specify)
>D. Attack a swordmaster
>E. Write-in response
>A. Immediately attack the still Wampyr
The nonmoving, highly-magic-weak target is your obvious first choice, as well as Irene's, while Wes stares down the wilder one for several moments, studying its movements as Leigh fends off the three swordsman to slight success, slaying a single soul quite quickly.

You and Irene's shots at the stiller one have definitely been fired off by now, but something's wrong: he's still alive and standing, albeit slightly off to the side.

"Missed me. Hey, get a load of these guys. Can't hit the side of a-" He then turns and looks towards his buddy, and that's when all of you notice: Wes hasn't actually struck yet.

Midsentence, Wes' apparent target is shown to very clearly not actually be the guy he's been allegedly focusing on this whole time, but the very momentarily-distracted less-shifty Wampyr.

"Gotcha," he says with a satisfied look as he drains the life-drainer with a single shot of Nosferatu, taking a hole out of the guy that would kill anyone who wasn't really weirdly resilient. That being said, Nosferatu wouldn't do that to most folks either.

"H-hrgh... Get them, Tarks!"

And then the more jumpy one leaps straight for Wes, and the wounded one takes to trying to strike Leigh, limping and very clearly inhibited by a chunk of his hip being gone.

You think you hear sounds coming from behind the lot of you as well...

>A. Help Leigh
>B. Help Wes
>C. Look behind you
>D. Attack behind you!
>E. Write-in response
>A. Help Leigh
Don't want to give that one a chance to regenerate, which he could do if he eats some of Leigh's essence, leaving her vulnerable to the other two surviving swordmasters. Hopefully Wes can tag the hoppy guy, but even if he can't, he's a spirit charmer, so it's not like he's in danger of running out of essence quickly. Worried about what's behind us, but hopefully Irene's on it.
Sure, you know Leigh is capable, but you had this conversation earlier today: mages need to keep Wampyr away from physical combatants. She's even mainly striking and guarding against the swordsmen, slaying a second swordmaster.

You and Irene seemed to have the same idea of taking out the wounded fellow approaching Leigh, so naturally he dies, and the other one's head is destroyed within a moment by being so close to Wes.

Sure, Leigh's a bit dinged up by the swordmasters, but that's nothing that healing can't-

Shit, you've all forgotten about the guys behind you. Two Wampyr, one male and one female if it matters at all, rush towards Wes, one pulling him into his grasp and the other rushing right into you, currently the closest physically TO Wes out of any of the group.

The next several seconds are a blur after you're tackled. The sound of your duplicate's voice shouting, "H-hey, wait, where are you taking me?!" A blast of darkness just in front of you, Irene pulling you up as you've barely been drained, Leigh striking down the last ordinary Swordmaster as the enemy stands-and falls-between all of you and the stairs...

"Wes... Where'd Wes go?" You ask, looking around.

"I... We..." Irene breathes. "It happened so fast, and I thought it was just draining, so a few seconds wouldn't make a difference, but... All she did was take him downstairs."

"Then the swordmaster just goes crazy blocking my own path to them!" Leigh finishes.

>A. What would they want with him?
>B. Something about this is odd... (elaboration recommended but not needed)
>C. Don't wait around here then!
>D. Write-in response
>C. Don't wait around here then!
It is odd, but I can't discern the exact nature or intent of the oddity just yet. Probably going to be shapeshifter shenanigans.
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"Let's hurry, then!"

After a quick once-over with your Mend staff for Leigh, you hurry down the stairs, talking as you fast-walk.

"Could they be planning on replacing him with Ymira?" Leigh asks.

"After making such a big show of swooping out and grabbing him?" Irene responds. "It's... Not impossible, but it just sounds sloppy."

"And... Whatever that was about, it was specifically about Wes. I mean, they tried to drain me right there, but moved him..." What significance could Wes have, you wonder?

You worry you'll find out soon enough.

You get attacked a few more times on the third floor, itself wider than the second, but it's much... Roomier. As in, as opposed to hallways, floor 3 is primarily rooms, which naturally means primarily fights.

You end up cornering the Wampyr who carried Wes away, now empty-handed and striking Leigh, the first person she sees, unhesitantly... And immediately having her limbs destroyed by you and Irene.

"Now," you say, spellbook open, "tell us what you did with Wes!"

Before she can even open her mouth, however, a blast of blue, strong enough that you can just feel the power from standing remotely close to the poor victim, simultaneously crushes and slices the rest of her.

An extremely tall woman, face obscured by a crude and formless mask, generally wearing dull clothing, stands in the doorway, clutching in her hands an impressive sword with a mystifying, cool azure blade.

>A. Say something (specify)
>B. Attack!
>C. Write-in response
>D. Do nothing for the moment
>A. Say something (Who are you?)
>A. Say something (Who are you?)
Hi Ellen.
"Who... Who are you?" You ask, weapon raised cautiously.

She doesn't respond, sword shining, radiating with... Something both ominous and soothing...

"That sword," Leigh says, "that's... A pretty sharp-looking blade. No, uh, pun intended." Her guard, and more importantly her Miracle Sword, is raised as well, but she's not exactly used to being shorter than other girls, and her demeanor makes this all too clear.

You'd like to see her first impression of Lara like that, but that's not a thought worth dwelling on.

"Whoever this is, they're someone who they don't want us knowing is up their sleeve... Figure this person's mind controlled, following up on that logic."

Oh boy. You have a feeling this isn't about to get especially fun.

This person seems to be awaiting whoever strikes first, head facing Leigh since she's the closest.

>A. All at once now!
>B. Keep doing nothing
>C. Push your luck. Just walk right over.
>D. Try to leave the room
>E. Write-in response
>B. Keep doing nothing
Lets not kill Ellen.
>B. Keep doing nothing

I think "Lets not get killed by Ellen" would be the more appropriate statement.
"So, uh..."

You continue standing around, your opponent's sword tight around her fingers...

This time of observation and tensity prompts you to point something out to Irene-this swordswoman's missing a couple of fingers. The, uh, right ring and little fingers.

Your mind returns to Ymira's disguise, the height, the build, the same fingers missing (albeit on the opposite hand in that case)...

Wait, you'd heard that she was most likely out lost in some outrealm! But that sword, gods...

That thing could tear you apart if you keep looking at it funny. But anyway, back to the sword.

Hah, you crack yourself up. Irene and Leigh shoot you odd looks when you start chuckling in the middle of nowhere.

This warrior is still very clearly awaiting an attack.

>A. Explain the hilarious quip you just thought up
>B. Remembered something funny is all
>C. You've, uh... Figured out a plan, yeah! (specify or look even more odd)
>D. Write-in response
>E. Just stop cracking up
Can't remember, how much does Lloyd know about Ellen IC? I believe Leigh met Zoe and learned more about her, Ellen and Monica's collective backstory and situation, but I can't remember if Lloyd ever learned that.

Yes I am considering trying to help Ellen overcome the mind control with memories of pure yuri love.
Lloyd briefly saw Zoe at a get-together way back in the first few chapters but they didn't really get to speak.

If you want a hint about breaking her free without a fight, I can offer one.
That'd be appreciated, yeah.
Someone close to her once fell under magical control, albeit under EXTREMELY different circumstances. He also had a rather blatant, if unique to him, loophole in the associated compulsion to follow orders.
I take the silence as needing more.

This person had an odd quirk in that he could easily leave others alone so long as they weren't doing something that fell into the jurisdiction of his instructions, and could in some cases even be bossed around to a limited extent.
Was taking a while to think up a good way to test those possibilities, or alternative possibilities that might've been hinted at. I've got nothing, so this is going to be risky.

>D. Ask her if she'll take off the mask or take two steps backwards. If she refuses to do either of those, then try to approach her, while keeping arms visible and being entirely non-threatening, making no indication you intend to go past her, and remove the mask yourself. Stop approaching if she tenses up or otherwise seems to be preparing to attack instead of defend.
Hopefully we can teleport away if either of those accidentally trigger her.
If the other guy doesn't show up for another bit, go with A.

I'm gonna go sleep now. Best of luck Octo, love these.
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Alright, you know Witch Pendants don't work underground, but still... This inactivity has you curious.

"You two, stand back, lay down your weapons," you say to your companions. To your, er... "opponent," you say, "I promise not to try to walk past you, so could you just... Hold still, maybe remove the mask or put the sword away?"

Your opponent sheathes her blade and pulls off the mask, revealing, once again, a face slightly different from that Ymira impersonated. The eyes are a different color entirely, absolutely not the shapeshifter's golden peepers, but... Still, this only confirms a suspicion of yours.

"Er... Stand still, now, alright?" You gesture to Irene, officially now roped into this. "My friend here and I won't hurt you or walk past or anything, alright? We just... Want to check something."

Again, so long as your actions remain nonthreatening, she lets you, expression neutral.

Yep. Yup. Yep. Mhm. That's... A decent few layers of mind control, none of them Lupus' homecooked spell, so you figure that she only fell under their control sometime after he died.

Aaand, that's a bit of redundancy taken care of.

Great, cool, you think you've got all the layers taken care of!

The woman clutches her head, saying, "urgh, where am..." Opening her eyes, Irene is the first thing she sees.

Irene says, "it's alright, miss, someone just had you under a lot of mind control. The... Only thing we know of that you harmed was someone who had captured a friend of ours, mid-interrogation."

"That's good. But, uh... Where am I, really?"

>A. Exact answer
>B. Tarvos valley
>C. You'll explain later
>D. Let Irene or Leigh say it
>E. Write-in response
>A. Exact answer
>A. Exact answer
"Well, you're in this temple in Tarvos Valley. Damned maze of a place, hideout of Princess Paula, it's a bit of a long story, but-" You barely leap to the side of a sword beam. "Wh-whoa, what the hell?!"

"It's... It's you!" She tries to take another swing, but her arm is yanked back by Leigh, hard enough to send the swordswoman's sword to the ground nearby. "Hrg... Let me go! This person is..."

"...not who you're thinking of, I assure you." Irene says. "You... Came from an Outrealm, correct?"

"Right, you're right...Come to think of it, you don't much like him either. The voice, though..." She holds out a strong hand. "Sorry about that. I... Get a bit impulsive sometimes."

You take a lot of deep breaths, in and out, looking between her and her hand before shaking it, still a bit confused about whatever's going on. "I'm, uh... Lloyd."

"Ellen." After a slightly-uncomfortably-firm handshake, she goes over and swipes up her sword. "Well, stop eyeing the Azure Dragon Blade and fill me in on who brainwashed me."

You give a brief rundown of Paula's faction's actions, goals, and the existence and abilities of the Wampyr.

>to be continued next thread
I know, this endpost happened fast, but I couldn't think of many good non-fillery choices for it.

Thanks for playing. As always, update twitter and ask.fm are qmgrandflocto, and I'll be around in-thread for awhile.
Thanks for running.
Always a pleasure.

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